Update: April 1, 2020

Update 11
For more information on COVID-19, please visit our webpage here.
April 1, 2020
Governor Directs CA Schools to Remain Closed through 2019-20

 

Dear IUSD Community,

Today, Governor Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Thurmond announced that all California schools will remain closed to students through the end of the 2019-20 school year, as a result of increased COVID-19 cases throughout the state. The extension of school closures reaffirms the Governor’s previous statements and his intention to continue “stay at home” orders to protect the public health.

What this Means for IUSD
While schools will remain closed to students, I would like to emphasize that distance learning and IUSD services will continue, including school counseling services, mental health and wellness supports, grab-and-go meals, Chromebooks and connectivity, and more. Please continue to visit iusd.org and iusd.org/COVID19 for ongoing updates, information and resources for students and families.

Early Planning Has Enabled Continuity of Learning
Education is an essential service and IUSD leadership and staff recognize the extraordinary responsibility to support continuity of learning and services for our more than 36,000 students. To that end, within days of closing campuses to students and the public, IUSD implemented Emergency Distance Learning. Our principals, teachers and support staff will continue to provide the highest quality distance learning we can envision, utilizing a variety of carefully vetted tools and resources.

More Information to Follow
In the coming days, we will share updates from state and higher education agencies that will provide important clarification about grades, graduation and other related topics. We also know that policy changes are being made at the collegiate level to ensure that student admissions are not adversely impacted by COVID-19. In the meantime, please visit iusd.org/COVID19, which includes frequently asked questions and other updated resources.

Discussing this News with Students
Finally, although IUSD and many in our community anticipated the possibility of this new announcement, it may be very disappointing and difficult to process for some. Please take a moment to discuss this news with your children and to listen and acknowledge how they are feeling.  For information about IUSD mental health and wellness supports and resources, click here.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership.

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

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Update: March 31, 2020

Update (March 31): IUSD is aware of statements made by the State Superintendent of Schools, Tony Thurmond, indicating that it is unlikely California school sites will reopen before the end of the school year, bolstering comments made by Governor Gavin Newsom a couple of weeks ago. IUSD has been closely monitoring this situation and following all guidance from federal, state and local officials and expert health agencies, in addition to collaborating with other Orange County school districts. We are in the process of working with these organizations to determine what this means for our school district and next steps. As we have more information, we will keep our community informed.

IUSD emergency distance learning and services continue as planned. For more information and ongoing updates, visit iusd.org/COVID19.

 
March 27, 2020
With Gratitude and Respect

Dear IUSD Community,

Two weeks ago today, the Irvine Unified School District closed our schools to the public due to the COVID-19 health crisis. As your superintendent, an educator and a father, I have a deep appreciation for the challenges this has presented our community. At a time when it would be easy to find more wrong than right, more negative than positive, I have witnessed our staff, families and students make the conscious choice to face these challenges with grit, resiliency, adaptability, grace, compassion and hope.

Our teachers and staff have been working around the clock to support students and families, as we settle into this temporary “new normal.” Within days of closing our school sites, IUSD’s emergency distance learning was up and running. In the last two weeks, IUSD’s Nutrition Services has served more than 52,000 meals to students, while our IT team has distributed more than 4,000 Chromebooks. Our families have jumped in with both feet and are working with our teachers and schools to provide continuity of learning for students during this unprecedented time.

As we continue to move forward, together, I felt compelled to reach out to you and express my gratitude and respect for our community with a brief video message.

I have always maintained that it is the “US” in IUSD that makes our District stronger and over these last two weeks this has never been more true. We are committed to working with you and to continually improving how we serve all of our more than 36,000 students.

On behalf of the IUSD Board of Education and staff, we hope you enjoy your spring break. For updates and resources, including an FAQ, visit iusd.org/COVID19.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership.

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Additional Resources: 

Additional Language Support:

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March 24, 2020
School Closures Extended to May 1

Dear IUSD Students and Families,

In recent weeks, the State of California escalated its efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, through the executive order issued by Governor Gavin Newsom last Thursday, calling for California residents to stay at home, with exceptions for attending to essential needs. Over the weekend, a presidential Major Disaster Declaration also acknowledged the scope of this crisis and bolstered California’s emergency response efforts.

Locally, the Orange County Health Care Agency tightened restrictions on public and private gatherings last week and the Orange County Superintendent of Schools, Al Mijares, expressed his support for Orange County school districts to extend school closure dates. “Keeping children home from school is a drastic measure, one that shows how seriously health officials and educators are taking this public health threat,” said Mijares. “We must do our part now to flatten the curve.”

Based on these conditions, directives and preventive measures, the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education and I have extended the closure of our schools through Friday, May 1.

If we learn, prior to May 1, that circumstances have changed and that we can safely reopen our schools, IUSD and our dedicated staff will do so at our earliest opportunity. To that end, the District will continue to monitor closely the guidance from federal, state and local authorities and coordinate our actions and responses with expert health agencies and other OC school districts.

Partnership with our Families
As we continue to navigate this dynamic and unprecedented time, our partnership remains critical. The information and resources included below are intended to help IUSD and our families ensure that students remain engaged, connected and supported. Please continue to monitor and review the online information, updates, and resources on our dedicated webpage at iusd.org/COVID19, on iusd.org and on District social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

Education and Services Continue
As previously communicated, education is considered an essential service under the Governor’s executive order, so our teachers, administrators, and staff remain engaged in maintaining district operations and continuity of learning for all students. Although our school sites are closed to the public, our facilities remain open to staff so that education, support, and other services can be provided.

Mental Health and Wellness Supports and Resources
The outbreak of COVID-19 can result in various forms of stress, especially for students who may be struggling to process all of the implications of this health challenge and the impact of social distancing. IUSD’s Prevention and Intervention team, as part of the District’s
Speak Up We Care initiative, has developed resources that may be helpful for students and families. This includes information about available IUSD supports, how to talk with children and teens about COVID-19, community mental health providers and resources, maintaining a sense of connection, and other healthy practices. Our staff will continue to be actively engaged with students both academically and in support of social-emotional wellness. More than ever, it is critical that our students sustain a sense of hope, confidence, and optimism. Click here to learn more.

Emergency Distance Learning
Distance Learning (EDL) opportunities will continue through May 1, excluding Spring Break. Principals and teachers will consistently communicate with parents and students, so please remain in close contact and reach out to your school, if you have questions or need additional support.

Our principals, with support from District staff, will remain in close contact with their teachers to ensure they have the resources needed as they diligently work to provide distance learning to our TK-12 students. Teachers will continue to access school sites, while observing California Department of Public Health guidelines, and obtain technological support, office equipment and other educational resources as needed.

Thank you for your partnership last week during our initial launch of distance learning. As EDL extends into the coming weeks, district leadership, principals, teachers, and staff will continue to work with students and families, soliciting feedback and adjusting instruction to optimize learning outcomes and support our families.

Technology Support and Internet Access
IUSD’s Information Technology team has been working around the clock to provide students access to devices and the internet during this time. As a reminder, Distance Learning opportunities can be accessed from any device at home, the District will continue the Chromebook checkouts for those in need. Please note, to adhere to social distancing guidelines, the technology checkouts will require an appointment in advance. To request an appointment, complete this Technology Access Form. After completion of the form, you will be provided with pick-up location options.

For questions about devices and IUSD-related technology, email helpdesk@iusd.org. For questions about internet access, including free and low-cost internet options, please visit our Support Center.

Meals and Community Resources
Last week, our Nutrition Services staff served more than 24,000 grab-and-go meals to IUSD students. The District will continue to provide free breakfasts and lunches to any student who needs them through the extended closure, at the same locations and hours of service, excluding Spring Break (March 30-April 3).

Beginning April 6, 2020, Nutrition Services will be providing free breakfasts and lunches to any IUSD student who needs them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the same locations and hours of service currently in place. The meals provided on Monday will include meals for Monday and Tuesday, meals provided on Wednesday will include meals for Wednesday and Thursday, with meals provided on Friday for that day. This change is being made to reduce parent trips and better align our practices with the principles of social distancing.

IUSD has connected with our community partner Families Forward, to augment IUSD meals and to help link families to food assistance over the Spring Break and/or for long-term assistance. Click here to learn more and for additional community resources, including housing services for any family experiencing a crisis as a result of COVID-19. The District will keep this page and information updated to help connect our families to vital resources.

Looking Forward
On behalf of the Board of Education and the District leadership team, we fully appreciate the impact this extraordinary situation is having on our students and families. We look forward to this crisis coming to an end and welcoming our students back to their schools.  In the meantime, we will continue to communicate regularly and collaborate with other school districts and institutions of higher education to address questions that could impact our students, including transcripts, graduation requirements, promotions and other end of the year activities.

Thank you, again, for your patience and unparalleled support. We encourage you to consistently visit iusd.org/COVID19 for updates, resources, information, and frequently asked questions. We recognize the dynamic challenges this environment creates, so please reach out if there is anything the IUSD team can do to better serve you.

With gratitude and respect,

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

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March 19, 2020
COVID-19 Update: Governor's stay at home order

Dear IUSD Community,

Governor Newsom has issued an open-ended statewide “Stay at Home”  order.  While IUSD learns more about what this means for our organization in the coming days, education is still considered an essential service.  This means that we will continue to provide free breakfasts and lunches to any IUSD student who wants one at the same locations, days and times

Chromebooks will also still be distributed tomorrow (March 20) to families who have an appointment.  Please note, to support social distancing guidelines, the technology checkouts will require an appointment in advance.  To request an appointment, complete this Technology Access Form.

Distribution will now only be held at the District Office (5050 Barranca, Irvine) during your designated appointment time. However, please know that IUSD Emergency Distance Learning opportunities can be accessed by any device at home, including mobile phones.  For tech support, email helpdesk@iusd.org.  

Once IUSD has more information, we will provide an updated anticipated return date for schools.  In the meantime, Emergency Distance Learning opportunities will continue as planned.

Please continue to check www.iusd.org/COVID19 for updates and information.  As IUSD has more information, we will keep our community informed.

Thank you for your partnership and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times together.

Sincerely,

 

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Additional Resources: 

Additional Language Support:

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March 15, 2020
Reminders for the Week Ahead

Dear IUSD Community,

As communicated last Friday, the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) closed our schools and facilities out of an abundance of caution and after careful deliberation. Although, there were no confirmed or connected cases to IUSD, the public health crisis created by COVID-19 warrants that we take steps to prevent the spread of illness.

As a reminder, IUSD schools and facilities will be closed to students and the public from March 16 to an anticipated return date of April 6. Below are important dates for our families:

  • Monday and Tuesday will be off days for students, while staff uses those days to prepare for Emergency Distance Learning (EDL) opportunities that will be available starting Wednesday. Please continue to check your email for additional communications that will be sent on Tuesday, March 17.
  • Spring Break for year round schools is March 23 to April 3 (No EDL options during this time).
  • Spring Break for traditional schools is March 30 to April 3 (No EDL options during this time).

Although the District Office and school sites are closed they remain staffed. For questions related to your school, please contact the front office.  If you have questions for the District, after reviewing the information on iusd.org/COVID19, including our frequently asked questions (FAQ) page, email info@iusd.org.

This is an unprecedented time that has caused disruptions throughout every level of our society. We know that our families may have many questions and concerns related to IUSD schools and services, which is why we have developed an FAQ webpage to answer questions related to childcare providers, meals for students who need them, access to devices and connectivity, among many other questions. Please visit this page often; staff will continue to update it as information is available.

You will continue to receive communications throughout this time from me and my team and your schools. Please ensure that your contact information is up to date in Parent Portal.

On behalf of the Board of Education and IUSD staff, I want to thank our community for their support and understanding as we work through this time together. If we practice patience and understand that adapting quickly is critical, we will be able to continue to serve and support our students and families. 

Thank you for your partnership.

Sincerely,

 

Terry Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Additional Resources: 

 

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March 13, 2020
ALl IUSD Schools to Close Effective March 16

Dear IUSD Community,

After careful deliberation, the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) has made the decision to close all IUSD schools and facilities effective Monday, March 16 with an anticipated return date of Monday, April 6. The public health crisis created by COVID-19 has put our institutions, including K-12 school districts, in uncharted territory and we must take steps to prevent the spread of illness. In addition to proactive actions taken by IUSD, we will continue to follow the guidance of public health experts to protect our students, families, staff and the entire IUSD community.  As we have more information, we will communicate with our community and provide updates on iusd.org/COVID19.

The IUSD Board of Education held a special emergency Board Meeting today at 12:30 p.m. to discuss school closures and the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation. The Board of Education authorized me to take the necessary action to protect students and staff, including the closure of all IUSD schools and facilities.

“On behalf of the IUSD Board of Education, our first priority is the safety of our students, staff, families and community,” said President of the Board of Education Betty Carroll. “We stand prepared to support our Superintendent and District staff with all available resources as they work diligently to proactively protect and support our more than 36,000 students.”

What this Means
As a result of this rapidly changing situation, we are now at a point where public safety concerns warrant the closing of schools. While our school facilities will be closed, plans to support student learning, nutrition services, and childcare options, will be implemented.

IUSD will utilize Monday and Tuesday of next week to continue our planning efforts so that we can transition effectively to a distance learning environment that supports the diverse needs of our students.

Please know that IUSD understands that the closing of any school has significant consequences beyond the loss of instructional time and will result in challenges for many of our families. We are committed to providing available resources to support our families.

Next Steps
Additional information regarding these supports and services will be shared as soon as possible. On behalf of our school administrators, teachers and District, I thank our community for your understanding as we work to implement distance learning and provide continuity of instruction and services. The circumstances in California and the nation will undoubtedly pose challenges; however, if we practice patience and understand that adapting quickly is critical, we will be able to continue to serve and support our students and families.      

Social Distancing Guidance
Expert health agencies advise that to effectively support social distancing and the extraordinary measure of closing schools, students should stay home and minimize social contact as much as possible to keep caregivers and adult family members safe. While children have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus, these steps are critical in supporting public health as they can transmit the virus to those most vulnerable.

Public health officials recommend that families make arrangements for childcare during closure that avoid leaving children with elderly people who are more vulnerable to the impact of the virus.

Stay Connected to IUSD
IUSD will communicate with you often and as we have new information. In the meantime, continue to visit iusd.org/COVID19 and District social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for updates. Please make sure your contact information is up to date in Parent Portal.

If you have questions, after reviewing the resources available at iusd.org/COVID19, please send them to info@iusd.org. We will do our best to answer questions in a timely manner and will regularly update our frequently asked questions.

Our District has always maintained that it is the “US” in IUSD that makes us stronger and successful as a district. This has been a stressful time for families and I thank you for your understanding of the many unique considerations of K-12 school districts in serving our diverse population. By working together, we can and will continue to support our students through this difficult time.

Thank you for your partnership and support.

Sincerely,

Terry Walker
Superintendent of School
Irvine Unified School District

 

Additional Resources: 

Additional Language Support:

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March 12, 2020
COVID-19 New State Guidelines for Public Gatherings

 

Dear IUSD Community,

Effective immediately, the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) is following and implementing the newly issued guidelines from Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). We continue to work with these agencies as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA), the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) and other Orange County K-12 school districts. This is a rapidly evolving situation and the District will continue to update our community as we have new information, including our COVID-19 webpage.

Please note, similar to all OC K-12 school districts, at this time, there is no recommendation for closing schools. With the information we have now, IUSD schools will remain open with the following modifications, in accordance with CDPH guidelines, until further notice.

  • All field trips are canceled and/or postponed. (The District is looking into reimbursement options; schools will provide parents information regarding refunds when available.)
  • All non-essential small and large gatherings, meetings, events, assemblies, school open houses, performances, festivals and other activities will be canceled or postponed.
  • Routine athletic events can continue without spectators in attendance. Larger events such as tournaments or invitational meets (more than 250 people) will be canceled or postponed.
  • Please note, mandatory and self-quarantine guidelines have not changed. For information about current guidelines and travel restrictions, review CDC guidelines and visit iusd.org/COVID19 for information related to IUSD.

I would like to reiterate that local and state public health officials have informed IUSD and other OC K-12 school districts that it is appropriate for schools to remain open and maintain as normal a schedule as possible. However, by taking these important social distancing steps now, we are supporting the public health of our community.

Principals will communicate to their school communities regarding postponed or canceled events and activities. IUSD will continue to keep our community informed as we have new information.  In the meantime, please visit iusd.org/COVID19 for updates and information.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,
Terry Walker signature

Terry Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

 

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Additional Language Support:

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March 10, 2020*
COVID-19 Update from Supt. Walker

Dear IUSD Community,

The Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) continues to closely monitor new developments related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), engage in preparedness planning and work with expert partner agencies. Please take a moment to read the following update.

IUSD has also developed a COVID-19 webpage, which has the latest news and information. Check this webpage regularly for new updates.

Updated CDC Self-Quarantine Guidelines

  • Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded the self-quarantine guidelines by asking travelers, who have returned from a country with widespread transmission (including China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea) to stay home for 14 days from the time they left the affected area. For more information, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html.
  • In accordance with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines, those who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 should also be excluded from school for 14 days from the day of their last exposure.
  • It is IUSD’s expectation that students, staff and those visiting our campuses follow these guidelines to help protect the public health and prevent the spread of the virus. This includes spring break travel.
  • Students who meet this criteria for self-quarantine, should contact their school’s principal, who will work confidentially and collaboratively with families to support the continuation of instruction throughout this process.

IUSD Actions and Preparedness

  • Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has informed the community that the risk remains low for Orange County. However, as testing is more widely available, cases may increase, requiring school districts, municipalities, businesses and individuals to be prepared.
  • Since my last communication, District leadership and the appropriate staff have been participating in weekly conference calls led by the Orange County Health Care Agency for Orange County K-12 school districts to receive the most recent and relevant guidance for schools.
  • IUSD has increased hand sanitizer stations, illness prevention posters and reminders about proper hand washing throughout our campuses, in addition to increased custodial cleaning crews. While these measures already exist on our campuses, we want to reinforce and support good practices, which are key to preventing COVID-19 and other illnesses.
  • IUSD’s COVID-19 planning includes a wide range of options to safely provide instruction, including online and/or other distance learning options.
  • IUSD has developed a COVID-19 resource webpage at iusd.org/COVID19 that includes updates, frequently asked questions and other important information.
  • For questions about COVID-19 and related medical guidance; federal, state and county health guidelines; travel advisories; health screenings at U.S. ports of entry; quarantines and other government agency related questions, visit:

Fieldtrips and Questions about School Closures

  • IUSD continues to follow guidance from CDPH for public gatherings and community events. At this time, there are no recommendations from the CDPH for canceling school activities, including field trips, or closing schools in our area.

We’re in this Together

  • Students, staff and others visiting our schools and District facilities should stay home when sick and follow all expert agency guidelines.
  • Continue to follow and reinforce proper handwashing and other efforts to reduce the spread of illness, including sneezing or coughing into a tissue or elbow/upper arm, washing frequently touched surfaces, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Click here for IUSD health guidelines.
  • Please know that IUSD understands parent concerns and the anxiety this situation may cause for students and families. The District will continue to work closely with expert partner agencies and provide our community with accurate and timely information as this situation evolves.
  • I also ask that our community do its part to assess and evaluate information you may be hearing on social media or in the community. It is important for us to spread knowledge, not rumors. If you have question, please contact your school principal first.
  • Parents/guardians are encouraged to visit iusd.org/COVID19 for the latest news and information, including frequently asked questions. This site will be updated as the District has new and confirmed information from expert agencies.

By working together, we can support accurate information and help protect the public health of our community. Thank you for your partnership and support.

Sincerely,

Terry Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

*Last updated March 10 , 2020 at 7:32 p.m. to add Japan to the CDC self-quarantine guidelines. 

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For translated versions of previous communications, please see the communication archive section below.

February 27, 2020
Coronavirus Update & Spring Break Travel

Dear IUSD Community,

IUSD continues to closely monitor the situation regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), while working with expert partner agencies to ensure we are providing our community with medically accurate and timely information. As you may be aware, on February 25, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made statements during a briefing that signaled a change in tone from previous communications by asking individuals, communities, governments, businesses and schools to be prepared should the United States experience an increase in COVID-19 cases. In response, the County of Orange declared a COVID-19 emergency yesterday afternoon. County officials stated that although there are currently no cases of coronavirus in Orange County, their goal is to ensure resources are available and that all residents and visitors to Orange County are prepared.

Health Guidelines Remain the Same
Although these new developments may cause concern for some in our community, the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has informed Orange County school districts that the following guidelines, published in my February 2 letter, have not changed.

  • Travelers to the United States, who have been in China’s Hubei province within 14 days, will face a mandatory quarantine and will be monitored by public health officials.
  • Travelers to the United States from mainland China will face enhanced screening and a self-quarantine of up to 14 days to ensure they do not pose a health risk.
  • OCHCA will exclude students under mandatory quarantine from school for 14 days from their last exposure and will communicate with Orange County school districts, colleges and universities to ensure high-risk students remain out of school for the identified period.
  • Students under voluntary self-quarantine should be excused from school during this period.

IUSD is monitoring global coronavirus advisories and we will update our community if the CDC changes its mandatory or voluntary quarantine requirements to include additional countries.  Regardless, we are informing all families, including new families, about the guidelines and that the District expects them to be followed to support public health.  As a public institution and in accordance with state law, IUSD is not authorized to refuse access to a healthy student.  We will continue to monitor and adapt to the situation as needed.  For additional questions related to travel and health guidelines, you may also contact the OCHCA by clicking here

To read the full letter I sent to IUSD families on February 2, click here.

Spring Break Travel
As a reminder, if our families travel to mainland China or the Hubei province over the upcoming spring break, they will be subject to the above guidelines and any new guidelines that may be implemented. For a list of countries with COVID-19 travel advisories, visit travel.state.gov. We ask that if you travel to any affected countries that you follow all related guidelines to support the health and safety of our community.

Newly Enrolled Students
IUSD schools are providing guidelines to families of students enrolling in the District, which are available in Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish and can be found by clicking here.

According to the Health and Human Services declaration issued on January 31, federal and state officials are screening travelers entering the U.S. at ports of entry. IUSD cannot and does not have the ability to monitor travel of our students and their families. If we become aware that students enrolled in our District have traveled from affected regions, we provide families with the guidelines from expert health agencies and work confidentially and with compassion to support our students.

However, in accordance with state law, IUSD cannot ask for forms of identification related to immigration status. This includes asking for passports and checking travel status.

To support public health, IUSD follows the guidance of expert agencies, as outlined above, and we expect our community to do so as well. This community effort will help ensure the health and safety of those who attend, work and visit our campuses.

IUSD Preparedness
Over the last five years, IUSD has invested nearly $14 million in the safety and security of our campuses and District, which includes emergency preparedness and management planning. As part of this commitment to safety, IUSD is in the assessment phase of continuity planning that began in 2019, so that in the event of an earthquake, wildfire, widespread medical emergency, and other human made or natural disasters, the District will be able to continue instruction and maintain the operations of our school district.

Our planning efforts are geared toward a wide range of options for safely serving students that could include blended and/or online learning in the event of an emergency. IUSD will continue to develop plans, as part of our normal preparedness efforts, and our staff will account for any new developments related to COVID-19. To learn more about IUSD safety resources and investments, visit iusd.org/safety

What Parents and Students Can Do
IUSD has and will continue to communicate with our students and families about the importance of:

  • Following all expert healthcare agency guidelines and IUSD’s health guidelines for students.
  • Keeping children home when they are sick.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or coughing into your elbow/upper arm (“vampire cough”) and teaching these habits to your children.
  • Frequent handwashing.
  • More healthy habits can be found by clicking here.

Updates and Information
As communicated, in my two previous letters, the District is committed to keeping our community informed. As we have updates, we will continue to provide that information to our community in a timely manner.

Language Support
Our language support team is in the process of translating this letter into Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish and will post them to iusd.org in the coming days. In the meantime, below are links for language support, please contact our team directly.

Thank you for your support and engagement. Through our continued partnership, we can support the health and wellbeing of our students.

Sincerely,
Terry Walker Signature
Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

*This letter was last updated on 2/27/20 at 6:30 p.m.

Additional Resources:

Additional Language Support:

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For translated versions of previous communications, please see the communication archive section below.

February 2, 2020
Update From Superintendent Walker: revised guidelines

Dear IUSD Community,

Last Sunday, I communicated with you about the outbreak of pneumonia in China, caused by the Novel Coronavirus and concerns this may raise in our community.  As committed, IUSD continues to monitor this situation and work closely with expert agencies such as the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA).  Below are revised health guidelines for schools from OCHCA in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ national public health emergency declaration issued Friday, January 31, 2020. 

Updated Federal GuidelinesFAQ
As part of the emergency declaration, which went into effect today (Sunday, February 2) at 11 a.m. PST., Americans returning to the United States, who have been in China’s Hubei province within 14 days, will face a mandatory quarantine and be monitored by public health officials. Americans returning to the United States from other parts of China will face enhanced screening and a self-quarantine of up to 14 days to ensure they do not pose a health risk. 

Updated Guidelines for Orange County Schools
In response to the new federal guidelines, OCHCA will exclude students under mandatory quarantine from school for 14 days from their last exposure and will communicate with Orange County school districts, colleges and universities to ensure high-risk students remain out of school for the identified period.  Students under voluntary self-quarantine should be excused from school during this period. 

To support public health, IUSD follows the guidance of expert agencies and we expect our community to do so as well.  This community effort will help ensure the health and safety of those who attend, work and visit our campuses. 

It should be noted that according to OCHCA, at this time, there is only one confirmed case of the Coronavirus in Orange County (a man in his 50s who is isolated and in good condition). The risk to the public in Orange County and throughout the United States remains low.

Guidelines for IUSD Students Under Mandatory and Self-Quarantine
Please know that the District is committed to maintaining the privacy of our students.  Our schools will work with students and families under mandatory or self-quarantine with sensitivity and confidentiality. 

Mandatory Quarantine

  • OCHCA will notify IUSD of any students under mandatory quarantine, who have been excluded from attending school due to recent travel from China’s Hubei province within 14 days.
  • Once IUSD has received notification these individuals are cleared to return to campus, schools will communicate with affected families to make arrangements.
  • Schools will work with students to support continued learning at home.
  • Related absences will be excused.

Self-Quarantine

  • Students who have recently returned from other parts of China are asked to self-quarantine and provide schools with documentation and/or a doctor’s note.
  • Schools will work with students to support continued learning at home.
  • Related absences will be excused.

IUSD understands that missing school, for any reason, can cause concern and stress for our families and students.  We will work collaboratively with families throughout this process.  However, to maintain a healthy and safe environment for all students and families, these guidelines have been put into place. 

In addition, we ask parents, caregivers or others, who may be under mandatory or self-quarantine to remain off campus as well. 

Masks
At this time, public health officials say there is no need to wear facemasks in the United States. However, as a precaution, students are allowed to wear facemasks on all IUSD campuses, if desired. Please note, IUSD students, who are sick must follow IUSD health guidelines and should not be sent to school sick, even if they wear a mask. 

Additional Information and Resources
For information about healthy habits to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, IUSD health guidelines and FAQs from IUSD and OCHCA, click here.

IUSD staff will continue to closely monitor this situation, which is evolving as countries and expert health agencies learn more about the Coronavirus.  As we have updates, information and resources from OCHCA or other agencies, the District will provide them to our community.

Language Support
Our language support team is in the process of translating this letter into Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Spanish and will post them to IUSD.org in the coming days.  In the meantime, below are links for language support, please contact our team directly. 

Thank you in advance for your partnership.  Together, we can keep our community healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Terry Walker Signature

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Click here to read the Orange County Health Care Agency FAQ and click here for IUSD’s updated FAQ.

Additional Resources:

Language Support Links

 

January 26, 2020
UPDATE FROM SUPERINTENDENT WALKER

Dear IUSD Community,

You may have heard news reports about a new coronavirus that has caused an outbreak of a respiratory illness and that there has been a confirmed case in Orange County. We understand this may be a source of concern for our community and ask that you read the following important information.

OverviewFAQs

The first known cases of 2019-nCoV — short for “2019 novel coronavirus” — were reported in December in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as MERS. A novel coronavirus — often shown as “nCoV” — is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) says the risk for school children in Orange County is minimal. Internationally the illness has primarily affected adults – elderly patients with pre-existing conditions.

According to the OCHCA, the Coronavirus is spread, similarly to other illnesses like the flu and common cold, through coughing or sneezing by those who already have it. Symptoms can include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and OCHCA Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the OCHCA recommends taking these daily precautions for this or any other illness:

Travelers who are sick should stay home and call health care providers.

If you have recently been to Wuhan, China and have developed fever with cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel or have had contact with someone who is suspected to have novel coronavirus stay home and call your health care provider immediately. If you do not have a healthcare provider or if you need to be seen at a hospital, do not go directly to the hospital. Please call the emergency room to get instructions before going in.

Stay home when you are sick.

Stay home from work and school and try to avoid errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading the illness to others.

“Students and staff with influenza symptoms including a fever, a cough or sore throat should stay home and not attend classes or participate in other group activities for at least 24 hours after the fever resolves without the use of fever-reducing medications,” says Pamela Kahn, Orange County Department of Education’s coordinator of Health and Wellness.

Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by coughing, sneezing or unclean hands.

Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Here is a three-minute video from the CDC about proper hand washing: https://youtu.be/eZw4Ga3jg3E

Practice other good health habits.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

For more information, visit the Orange County Health Care Agency’s website at: ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/epidasmt/epi/dip/prevention/novel_coronavirus

IUSD Guidelines

If your child is sick, please follow these guidelines for when to keep your child home:

  • A temperature of 100 degrees or above
  • Students must be fever-free without fever-reducing medication (such as Tylenol or Motrin) for at least 24 hours before returning to school
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea. Student may return to school 24 hours after last episode
  • Uncontrollable cough or wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Suspected communicable disease (i.e. chicken pox)
  • Suspected infections
  • A rash of unknown origin – student may return to school when written authorization is received from the health care provider
  • Students must stay home for the first 24 hours on antibiotic therapy

Next Steps

IUSD staff will continue to closely monitor this situation and work with the appropriate agencies. We will provide additional updates as needed.

Please know that the safety of students and staff is our top priority. If we all follow these important guidelines, we can help keep our community healthy. Please share this information with your family and caregivers. If language support is needed for this information, please see the following resources below.

Thank you in advance for your partnership.

Sincerely,

Terry Walker Signature

Terry L. Walker
Superintendent of Schools
Irvine Unified School District

Additional Resources:

Additional Language Support:

IUSD Language Support Text